After bariatric surgery, many people want to become more active, but exercising through the winter can be challenging. Exercise not only improves your mental and physical health, but it may also boost your immune system, and exercising on a bright, crisp sunny day can lift your spirits.
Start slow and increase your activity in small steps. Whether it’s a walk around the block or doing housework, everything counts. Here are a few ideas of activities you can do to stay active through the winter:
Take a nature walk
Walk in your neighborhood or at a local park. Choose a time where the weather is most cooperative. Being in nature is an instant mood elevator.
Choose a destination for your walk or run
Is there a grocery store or post office nearby? Walk there! Or walk to visit a friend if possible.
Dress in layers
Wear something next to your skin that wicks moisture away from you. Layers allow you to adjust to your body’s rising temperature. Don’t forget hats and gloves!
You can find free or affordable aerobics classes, dancing, yoga, and stretching online or through an app.
Distract yourself while moving
Exercising while listening to an audio book or watching TV makes the time pass more quickly.
Go cycling or swimming
Go for a bike ride around your neighborhood or check out local fitness centers and universities if they have indoor pools you can use.
Try dancing inside
Dancing is a great way to break a sweat while having fun. Whether you have a partner or you’re alone, you can find great music to motivate your moves.
Mopping, vacuuming, sweeping, changing sheets can all be ways to get moderate exercise. Everything counts.
Walk the dog
If you don’t have a dog, perhaps you have an elderly neighbor who would appreciate you volunteering to walk theirs for them.
Give yourself incentives
Make a progress chart and give yourself a gold star for every 10 miles you walk. Or find another incentive that will motivate you.
Above all, be safe. Staying active in the cold weather will lessen stress, increase energy, and keep you mentally and physically fit. Let’s get moving!